Filtering by Category: Kids

My Kids Favorite Apps

I've been so caught up with work that I put my Pesach travels completely on the back burner. I literally didn't even go back to the flight reservation email to check what time of the day we're flying - until after I finished my last Babyccino class on Monday afternoon and fully finished the Babyccino "Spring!" curriculum (which is live and available for purchase if anyone new is interested). I can't really multi-task well these days, and I seem to function much much better when I only focus on one thing at a time. So! This morning I woke up completely psyched for our imminent trip to my family in Skokie! Aside from my parents and my brother Moshe (who has been my right hand man in the Babyccino office deptartment!!), my sister Shterni and her family are coming (cousins!), as well as my hipster brother and his awesomest preschool-teaching wife, plus my fabulous newest-married sister with her boy beau. I'm SO looking forward to getting away, checking out (work/life wise), and spending heaps of quality time with my family. This morning I started packing up the girls clothes, and organizing our in-flight entertainment plan. Aside from buying a couple novelty coloring books, a slew of stickers, and some small-fare games and gimmicks, I dug up my old iPhone and restored it to factory settings. I cleared it up of all the regular icons, loaded it with my girls favorite apps, plus a bunch of new ones to try, and left the camera on there for Freida to explore with photography over this trip. She's going to be so excited at the prospect of having her own "phone" (it's really no more than an iPod touch) for the trip that I think we should be pretty set for the 4 hour flight. Anyways, lots of you have been asking for good kids apps to download before hitting the road, and I figured I'd share our top 4 favorites here. The interesting thing about these 4 apps is that both my 2 year old and my 5 year old LOVE these. Enjoy! 1. Endless Alphabet $6.99

This letter recognition app is, by a long shot, THE best app out there for toddlers. The adorable graphics + the genius phonics-teaching method is preschool gold. Not to mention the animated short it shows for the definition of every word! The words are truly endless and I have even upped my vocab from eavesdropping on Freida's playtime (gargantuan, anyone?). Also, I find it completely mind blowing that Hudi has learned all her phonics from this app. She doesn't know the whole alphabet, but can point to any letter and make the correct sound!! This is totally worth the whole $7. Promise.

endless alphabet app

2. Toca House $3.99

Help the quirky Toca characters with chores around the house. Sort the family mail, mow the lawn, wash the windows... you get the idea. Awesome graphics and great sound effects make this app super-fun to play and non-obnoxious as backround noise. Your kids will love it.

toca house app

3. Drawnimal $1.99

This interactive artist app has fast become a family favorite. And for a while when I was sleep training Hudi last year, this was the activity I would set Freida up with after bath each evening. We upped the ante and made it even more fun by implementing a little lap whiteboard (the kind for practicing letter, $1 aisle in Target) and a dry erase crayon + eraser. The concept of using the device as an art component is wild, and the animations are adorable, to boot!

drawnimal app

4. The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Friends - Play & Explore $3.99

This 3-D popup storybook features the most beautiful and whimsical of illustrations. This app is so well done, and the story-telling narration helps walk the kids through how to play and what to do. And somehow that makes it just interactive enough for them to play with it longer than other apps. Plus, the activities are relatively educational.

very hungry caterpillar app

P.S. Don't forget about Fiete for the toddlers!


Water Play

alix martinez kids in water I've been on the fence about giving Freida swimming lessons this Summer or waiting until next year. I feel like kids in LA really need to be swim safe in general, and I also think she'd have a crazy fun Summer if she'd learn how to swim. But at the same time, I know she's fearful of water and is happy as a clam to hang out at the seas edge jumping waves, or in a pair of floaties at the pool. I hear so many moms talking about what a waste of time it is to start kids lessons when they just aren't ready, and I really don't think she is. I think if she were motivated a bit more by kids in her bunk knowing how to swim, or if she ever asked about learning how to swim - I'd sign her right up. In any case, while googling around a bit for some kids swim schools in LA, I happened upon there images by Alix Martinez, and they totally made me swoon (and want to give her lessons!). How awesome is this water photography?? If I had boys, I would want a huge print on that taxi photo in their playroom. Just sayin'. Check out the rest of them on his website. And I'm curious to hear, at what age did you start your kids in swimming lessons?

alix martinez kid in water

alix martinez kids in water

alix martinez kids in water

alix martinez kids in water

alix martinez kids in water


goldieblox Recently, I had a little triumph involving tools*, and it finally got me to sit down and post about Goldieblox. A draft of this post had been sitting in my outbox since Chanukah (when my wildly trendy sister Rivkee gifted 5-year-old Freida with Goldieblox and the Spinning Machine), and while we've been enjoying fiddling with the thing, mastering the many prototypes in the users manual, and even coming up with some of our own creations, I haven't yet spread the good word about this goody for girls here.

Goldieblox - dubbed 'toys for future innovators'- has been blowing my mind. We all know the ins and outs and young women in the business world in general (and as #banbossy goes to show, it's still a serious issue), but this toy just took things to a whole new level. Forget pushing education and college courses, and try cultivating the innate love for puzzles that is in every child. Toys like these not only encourage children to think outside the box (much like legos do), but they inspire young minds to problem solve and work through things on their own - resulting not only in their own solutions, but in their own creations.

Freida found it a bit difficult at first, but once she got the hang of the concept she fully took off, and has been happily messing around with it since. Once they understand the basic concept and know the logistics of the different pieces, it's a refreshingly fantastic toy for kids to play with on their own. On the weeks that I have the girls with me for Shabbos, I break this out when I want to keep Freida occupied while I put Hudi down for a nap and even sneak in some "me" time with an iced Irish coffee and some pages of the latest Vogue. The fun with this toy is never fleeting, and it's a great gift to consider for girls ages 4-8.


Here is their original commercial (feat. the Beastie Boy music they were allegedly sued for, but it's still so stinkin' cute!):

And here's their latest commercial from this years Super Bowl:

How cute, right? This totally makes me nostalgic for that 90's catchphrase: #girlpower

*I had been living in this apartment for a whole bunch of weeks with a broken play kitchen. The fridge had some loose screws and 2 cabinet doors had fallen off. I stashed them behind the kitchen, and figured I'd get someone to come fix it. I didn't. It wasn't exactly an urgent priority, and so it sat idly somewhere on my to-do list. Until one day recently - I just got fed up with looking at a broken piece of furniture in the girls room - I just grabbed a lonesome screwdriver that had been sitting amongst a slew of pens and pencils at my desk, and fixed it all up like new. It was so easy! And I felt so dumb! I couldn't get over how ridiculous it was that since I was always used to someone doing the handywork for me, I figured I shouldn't even try. It made me think about how many other things I leave waiting on the back burner because I think I don't know how or am not able to do them as well as somebody else... And so this lil' tool triumph has taught me to (at the very least) give things a try. 

girls tools

Yes. She's cooking Foofa. And frying Plex. I know, perplexing.

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